If you use a Linux laptop and have not heard of PowerTop you really need to keep reading! This is a fantastic tool for extending your battery life written and published by Intel. I use it constantly on long flights and my battery lasts long enough for a cross-country flight.
PowerTop is available in the Ubuntu repositories so its a really easy installation:
sudo aptitude install powertop
Once you’ve got it installed start things up using:
This application will scan your machine for 5 seconds and then tell you which hardware or application is causing the most drain on your machine. The best part about it is that it’ll offer you suggestions along with shortcut keys to disable the feature or hardware in order to conserve power!
Some of the common things that powertop suggests disabling on my machine are bluetooth, wireless and add-on storage (cdrom, usb-devices, etc). Disabling these few things can extend my battery up to an hour (depending on the software I’m running, of course).
I really suggest checking out powertop for any laptop user. It should be part of your base installation setup. What luck have you had with powertop? How long can you extend your battery life?